FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 7, 2019
“I am loving it so far and I am remembering a lot of things I learned from last year. This year, I feel I can be more hands on and use more of the tools. I love using the drills and I learned to cut rebar. I feel I’m more confident in my skills. I think everyone else is enjoying it and it feels great to be helping someone in need and helping them with their house,” said Penny Etokto, a youth build program participant.
The program also provides Indigenous youth with the opportunity to learn about the affordable housing crisis in Ottawa and a chance to give back to the community as volunteers. The build, Leacross Landing, is in Orleans and when completed it will include 16 townhouses.
“SFI is passionate about responsibly sourced forest products being used for projects that improve our quality of life. At SFI we are committed to sustainability in the communities where we live and work so joining one of our closest partners, Habitat for Humanity GO, on a project that empowers Indigenous youth and provides affordable housing to families is a huge win,” said Kathy Abusow, President and CEO of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative.
Since 2008, the SFI community has donated countless volunteer hours and SFI-certified products to numerous Habitat for Humanity builds across Canada and the U.S. In 2014, SFI and Habitat for Humanity Canada signed a memorandum of mutual support known as Wood 4 Good. This program encourages local home building through SFI’s grassroots network, increases awareness of sourcing wood products certified to the SFI standards, and helps make supply chains more efficient. The partnership also works to encourage collaborative solutions to support Indigenous housing in Canada.
“We’re once again very proud to be partnering with Sustainable Forestry Initiative for Phase III of our Leacross Landing development. SFI’s ongoing financial and volunteer support shows their commitment to community leadership and a shared belief that everyone deserves a safe, affordable place to call home. Thank you for helping us build more homes,” said Marc Caron, Interim CEO, Habitat Greater Ottawa.
Habitat for Humanity Greater Ottawa’s Leacross Landing Phase III development is supported in part by the Indigenous Youth Build Program in partnership with Tungasuvvingat Inuit, a multi-sector hub for Inuit of all ages. The program is made possible with funding from Schneider Electric, the Home Depot Canada Foundation and additional sponsorship from SFI.
“It’s a great build crew! Everybody is really friendly and really helpful, and they try to make us do different things we haven’t done before. I see myself and the students wanting to do this again, it won’t be just a onetime thing,” said Bobby Eelee, an employment counselor at Tungasuvvingat Inuit.